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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Will the iPad Mini Kill the Kindle Fire? Also, Will iPad Mini Rumors Ever End?

It seems the rumor mills just won’t give up on the idea of a 7-8” iPad.  We’ve been hearing rumors about the development of such a device for well over a year now that have yet to manifest.  At this point having one announced would almost make me wonder whether it wasn’t a response to the popularity of the rumors rather than the rumors being a reflection of actual development.  Either way, iPad fans are convinced that if and when such a tablet is released it will spell the end of the Kindle Fire.

Of course it is also being touted as Apple’s answer to the anticipated Windows 8 Tablet boom later this year.  There is a very real impression that some people think all Apple needs to do is get this one last product to market to prevent anybody else from having the opportunity to break in.  Unfortunately, the rumors don’t really explain why they would want to.

Depending on the source, we are talking about a 7”, 7.85”, or 8.1” iPad running at 1024 x 768.  Essentially a scaled down version of the first two generations of the line.  There is no explanation of how this will reduce prices enough to really make such an offering attractive.  An iPad Mini would have to be scaled down in other ways as well.  This would probably need to be more than just reduced battery life.  We’re talking about a comparatively underpowered processor, reduced storage space, etc.

I won’t make the claim that this product will never appear.  It feels that way a bit now though.  Even if we assume, as many of these rumors do, that Apple made no effort to directly match price with the Kindle Fire and sold this smaller iPad for $299, it would mean the lowest profit margin they have taken to date.  Every iPad being sold right now makes the company at least $200 profit, according to analysts.  Apple is not a company who sells their hardware at a loss, as a rule.

Even if we do take the leap of faith and assume this happens, will it change things?  The Kindle Fire is marketed to a completely different audience than the iPad.  This might not, and probably will not, always be the case.  For now we have to assume that Amazon is dedicated to developing the product as a means of ever-improving media consumption, though, and as such there is little need for the kind of versatility that the iPad manages.

Amazon would lose those customers who just want an iPad anyway but who are unwilling to spend enough money to pay for the larger, more expensive models.  They are still going to be in a position to undercut Apple on the hardware prices due to the lack of reliance on device sale profit margins.  This means that the customers who just want a smaller, cheaper tablet with access to a lot of features will still have a good chance of buying a Kindle Fire, or whatever the current model is called by the end of the year.  An iPad Mini would upset the balance and be a big blow to the general Android Tablet market, but chances are good that the Kindle Fire could weather it.  Somehow I still doubt we will have a chance to find out for sure.

Google’s Kindle Fire Killer Now Looking More Expensive, Less Timely

Let’s face it, Amazon’s implementation of Android has to be a sore point for Google.  The most popular Android tablet ever, the Kindle Fire, is completely cut off from everything Google has developed to try to integrate and monetize the OS.  Is it any surprise that they would want to come out with something in the same size and price range that would blow the Kindle tablet option out of the water?  Unfortunately for them, this first attempt at entering the tablet market is going somewhat less smoothly than Amazon’s.

Sources originally reported that a 7” Google tablet costing as little as $150 would be available sometime this May.  Running Android 4.0 and powered by NVidea’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor, it was clearly an attempt to show off what a “pure” Android tablet was capable of in this price range.  Sadly, we now have news indicating that the design being collaborated on by Google and Asus is running $249 per unit.  The inability to keep costs down has brought along a delay until June and may force the elimination of some of the advantages the device was supposed to offer.

Prices on tablets are falling across the board.  The iPad remains prohibitively expensive for many, but with an option like the $199 Kindle Fire there is still hope.  Amazon did an impressive job of putting out dirt cheap hardware with the hope of making money on the resulting media sales and sales tracking indicates that they have been successful.  Anybody hoping to compete with Amazon in the 7” tablet market will have to at least match the price they are offering and even then bring something impressive to the table.

While the obvious way to bring down costs would be to step down from the expensive Tegra 3 processer, Google is apparently trying to avoid that.  This makes sense if they are trying to bring something out that really demonstrates the potential of the Android iteration (5.0 Jelly Bean) due out this June.  They have to be forward-thinking and prepare to compete against anticipated Windows 8 tablets as well as the Kindle Fire, so cutting corners on performance would not work well.

Does Google have a chance of beating out Amazon?  I would say no.  The strength of the Kindle Fire isn’t in its power or in its benchmark ratings.  Google Play is a step in the right direction, but aside from the App selection (which remains insufficiently moderated at the moment despite recent improvements and any other advantages it may offer) it can’t compare to what Amazon’s store integration brings to the table.

We can hope that this delay turns out to be more of a shift in focus than a fumbling attempt to get back on track with the original plan.  An Android 5.0 tablet meant to compete against Windows 8 tablets by offering a superior price and experience would make sense and do a lot to secure the future of the OS if implemented well.  An overpriced Kindle Fire competitor aimed at a noticeably different segment of the tablet customer pool than the Kindle would just be disappointing.